“You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world, a world lives in you.”
I carry my friends and family everywhere. Although sometimes it seems like my laptap is my best friend and closest confidante, actually, it’s just the main way that I keep in touch with those I call my heart. My heart is the people who love me. It’s the place that nourished my spirit, birthed my dreams, and inspired my adventures. It’s the kindness and acceptance and piss-taking by people who have made my life better in ways they do and do not know. That make me feel human.
Like Sam, who I always call my brave friend. She is also the white person who makes me feel better about being the black late one all the time as she’s usually later. When we were 15 and studying Latin, we had an evening school trip to see Lysistrata at a central London theatre. We were both late, and the group waited as long as they feasibly could (or so they said), before getting on the train without us. Continue reading →
Toes in the sand and nose to nose with the horizon line, today I tried to contemplate how I ended up here. When did I become Neo? I saw TheMatrix; I was not enthralled with the nebuchadnezzar. I could have chosen the blue pill. Heavy-heartedly maybe, but I would have done it. That porridge three times a day would have driven me mad and I would have been no use to the revolution. So which part of my journey through life determined that I would step off the treadmill, out of the rat race, move a gazillion miles away from my beloved London and set up home in the French Caribbean? Clueless, I retraced my steps. Continue reading →
As I’m far from home and much-loved traditions, I wasn’t sure how to feel about Christmas 2012. Although I refused to accept the fallacy that Christmas couldn’t possibly be Christmas without snow (have you seen a map of the world recently?), it still took me a while to get into the spirit of it. A night of enthusiastic chanté nweling which included copious amounts of Christmas ham, followed by a Saturday morning wake-up to a pile of presents and cards all with my name on (thanx peeps!!) got me thinking…
1) Family. I’m from a stereotypically Caribbean family as a Trini friend enlightened me once. I thought she meant in reference to raucously loud get togethers of very loving, proud black people convening for any occasion; Christenings, birthdays, graduations, weddings, or funerals. But according to her, it was having more than 20 first cousins. ‘Have them?’ I can name and tell stories about growing up with them!! Continue reading →
and ‘getting left behind’ are supposed to be feelings inculcated in your loved ones by your departure to (hopefully sunnier) climes when you move abroad. You’re off having the adventure of a lifetime and they’re stuck at home doing the same thing they were doing before you left, only with a new wound of your departure, and the salt of the tales of your adventures as you write home. The traditional postcard note ‘wish you were here’ is supposed to denote that you’re having the time of your life and you wish they could be sharing it with you. That’s what you tell yourself when you leave your loved ones behind anywho.
Alas that’s not really how it works. And I just got my first major sting.
When you leave for an extended period of time and are consumed with all the adventures you’ll be having, you can forget that well, life will continue without you. Continue reading →